5/01/2007

When I am King: The Home Stretch

When I am King...

Old people will be put on the rack.

There are many things wrong with the design of the human body. See, for example, my earlier treatise on Knees. One of the flaws that is becoming apparent to me lately is how the body adjusts to age.

I'm not talking about the usual aging symptoms here, like death. Instead, I'm talking about how poorly the body ages as a whole unified system. The different parts of the body age in different directions, making things worse over time than they really need to be.

Here's what I mean. At age 40, the eyes start to go. Or so I've read ... or would have read if I could have made out the words on the page. In particular, you start to have trouble seeing things up-close. So you start holding things further and further away from your face to see them more clearly. Meanwhile, as your body ages, it starts to shrink.

So here's one part of your body (your eyes) that needs things to get bigger (your arms). And here's the rest of your body that's getting smaller at the same time. What kind of coordinated system is this? Clearly, the engineers designing it only tested it for a few years before deciding it was good enough and then releasing it onto the market.

Although we are stuck with the body's design and cannot change it now, there are things that we can do to compensate for its shortcomings.

I propose that all older people be put on the rack, in order to stretch them out to a size that is more consistent with what the rest of their body needs. For example, my arms should probably be about 2” longer right now, and should probably grow another inch or two every year as I age gracefully.

This new regimen will have many advantages beyond simply compensating for failing eyesight. For example, stretching out the body will ensure less wrinkles, since the skin will have more surface area to cover. And pulling on the bones will surely create better posture (at least while the patients are on the rack).

I anticipate that things will work so well, in fact, that younger people will want to take advantage of the program. Imagine basketball players that have no need for performance-enhancing drugs because they could grow much taller naturally. Imagine kids that used to be picked last for sports teams now being sought-after because of their towering height. Imagine boys even-ing out the puberty game by being able to match heights with the girls instead of lagging behind for those awkward years. Imagine serious weight problems being addressed by simply stretching out bodies to attain correct proportions instead of having to pursue more drastic measures like exercise and sensible diets.

I have high hopes for this initiative, although there are still some things to straighten out.
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